128 Tricky Questions That Could Stand Between You and U.S. Citizenship

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The latest test has 128 civics questions about American government and history. Just getting to take the test usually means you’ve made it through an obstacle course involving reams of paperwork, thousands of dollars in lawyer and government fees, years of legal residency, a biometrics appointment and an English proficiency test. The questions come in the form of an oral test where an officer from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S.C.I.S., asks the would-be citizen to answer 20 of the 128 civics questions; if she gets 12 right, she passes. After that, all she needs to do is pick up her paperwork. Then she can pledge allegiance to the flag and decide which season of “Real Housewives” to watch to truly understand this complex nation.

The latest test is a jump from the current one, which requires you to study only 100 questions, and answer 10 of them, with 6 correct answers, to pass. The Trump administration has left almost no part of the immigration system untouched. It made changes large and small, from thundering bans of entire nationalities to insidious but potent administrative changes like this one. However innocuous some changes may seem, they illuminate the end goal: curbing legal immigration.

As with many Trumpian ideas, the seeds were there all along. The Naturalization Act of 1906 first decreed that citizens-to-be must speak English, and while English is not the official language of the United States, most immigrants today still have to pass an English proficiency test. The civics test is carried out only in English.

I’m a native English speaker, but I still find some questions difficult to understand. And unlike the study guide online, the questions are not multiple choice. That means that one day, if I get to take the test, I will have to try to keep a straight face as I look into another human being’s eyes and try to answer the question, “Why is the Electoral College important?”

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The new civics education test that immigrants who apply for citizenship through naturalization after Dec. 1, 2020, must take orally is longer and more complicated than its previous version. It consists of 128 questions and answers.

In the revised naturalization test announced last week by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the officer who is serving at the time of the eligibility interview with USCIS will ask each applicant a total of 20 questions. An immigrant must answer 12 out of 20 questions correctly to pass the civics portion of the naturalization test.

Previously, the USCIS officer asked a total of 10 questions from a general bank of 100 civics questions. An applicant had to correctly answer six of those 10 questions to pass.

Furthermore, in the previous test, if an immigrant answered six questions correctly before reaching the last one, this component of the exam ended. In the revised test, even if the person answers 12 questions correctly, the officer must continue to ask all 20.

“The exam is longer, requires more answers and more detailed answers,” said Don L. Fisher, who has taught classes to prepare immigrants for their citizenship for the past 10 years in Fresno, California.
Read more here: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/immigration/article247320909.html#storylink=cpy

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